Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk, who heads the Coordination Headquarter for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, spoke on UA Pershiy TV about the peculiarities of the exchange of prisoners of war and civilians.
She reminded about yesterday’s first full-fledged exchange of prisoners with the russian side according to the formula of 10×10 servicemen. Ukraine also handed over 11 Russian sailors, returning back 19 of our civilian sailors from the “Sapphire” ship.
“We have the opportunity to exchange the military, but the issue of what to do with our mayors, journalists, activists, who are now actually hostages, whom the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) calls internees, has not been resolved yet. How to deal with them now, how should international humanitarian law protect them?” – the head of the Ministry of Reintegration asks.
She reminds that Ukraine does not capture civilian prisoners of war, or rather hostages. After all, Ukraine is not a terrorist state. Accordingly, there is a difficulty: for whom to exchange our civilians who were abducted by the occupiers.
According to Iryna Vereshchuk, we should talk about achieving adequate parity in exchanges with the russian side and another one important problem. After all, the issue of exchanging prisoners elsewhere is becoming a kind of business, there are already cases when relatives of prisoners are called and demanded money.
“As a rule, the so-called “LNR” and “DNr” earn on this. People need to know what to do in such cases. In particular, to inform our recently established National Information Bureau. We also know about the tortures against prisoners”.
Iryna Vereshchuk said that the names of the executioners, as well as those who earn money from prisoners, are quickly becoming known.
“In the daily reports, I even read the names so that those who commit these crimes know that modern technology allows to identify them. We will find all those enemies. The responsibility for their crimes will be inevitable”, – Iryna Vereshchuk expressed her confidence.